Vox Rodentae

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Latest Big Story

Understandably, the big story that still has people hopping is the NYT's detailed publication of the US's financial battle plans to track terrorist funds around the world. The Left (which I have decided to start referring to as "The Wrong") insists that the entire furor is merely a pathetic and obvious manufacture by the Administration to discredit them and try to grab an inch or two of moral high ground. Of course. I mean, why should we be upset that their rag of choice just revealed in detail how we track their pet terrorists' money trail? UBL must have a NYT subscription - it no doubt provides him some of the best info available on our tactics and methods. And the fact that the program they've pasted on the first page is entirely legal (despite their every implication of the opposite) is just the "crowning turd in the water pipe" (to quote from Blackadder the IV). Where was the public value in publishing that knowledge? What public right to know (which is, by the way, not listed in the Constitution) trumps the security of a program that tracks those money trails not only for terrorist actions but also for their money laundering operations, which also affects our economy? Sure common sense would have told you that such a program existed. But they were under no obligation to publish it, and more precisely there was overwhelming reason not to. What we have here is an organization that has become obscene, bloated with its own perceived power, its complete lack of accountability, and its feeling of vast moral superiority over the entire nation. In response to Bill Keller's pathetic attempt at self-justification, at not knowing whether those methods were ever even argued and proved legal in a court of law? I have mentioned around the web (sites including but not limited to Captain's Quarters, Blackfive, Dr. Sanity, Michelle Malkin, etc...), that all of these methods, investigations and programs are researched very, very thoroughly both pro and con, by lawyers employed for just those purposes. The cases are argued before a court of law . They can be instituted only if and when they have been proved to be fully and legally justifiable.

In the MSM's neverending attempts to stick it to the Administration (and the American public, whom they obviously hold in great contempt), they have abandoned every shred of journalistic ethics they were ever credited with having. Your writer believes they should be very publicly tried and even more publicly punished. They have gone so far beyond the pale that it calls into question whether or not they still merit the protection of the society they claim to be part of. I think they need to be reviewing book club selections from the prisoner's library inside Sing Sing. And now that they have exposed our tracking methods (and thereby enabled their pet terrorists to change and adapt their money transfer options), they need to be held accountable for every victim of the terrorist actions that occur from here on out, since the funds they've helped protect will be used to pay for the attackers, their materials, their training, and their reconnaissance, not to mention the actual attacks themselves.

And so we return to the Public's Right to Know, as shouted from the rooftops by the MSM whenever confronted with their immoral, illegal and unethical and downright fallacious reporting. They say, "Well, so what if it's secret? The public has a Right To Know what their government is doing in their name/with their tax dollars", or "Well, so what if it isn't true? The public needs to know that that's the kind of thing this administration would do". They crow over the fact that they often report information from the front much faster than does the military, but what they don't mention is that this is because the military is obliged to ensure that the information it reports is both reliable and correct. Time and again we have seen MSM reporters in-country acting hand-in-glove with insurgents and former regime members who give them the exclusive "inside story" (can everyone say "Haditha"? A story which had already been under military investigation for a while). They often report misinformation, rumors and outright lies as well as blatant propaganda, as well as anything they can find which does not portray the US in a favourable light (big surprise there). Not that many (if any of them) are inclined to report favourably on the US efforts. Indeed, two reporters embedded with US forces saw their stories and photos excised as being "too positive" in the US's favour (they and other such reporters are scorned by their colleagues as victims -or willing dupes- of the Stockholm Syndrome).

At what point did we elect the press to decide for us what we need to know? At the beginning of the 20th century, in the heyday of Yellow Journalism, it was understood that each of the umpteen-gazillion newsrags being published was the tool of the party or group publishing it. There was no question of their impartiality - that was discounted completely. Somewhere down the line, we came to be convinced in The Press as an impartial body out to report The Truth. And the press has been playing us, pushing their own agenda, cashing in on that impression of impartiality for years now. Think about Walter Cronkite's "impartial reporting" turning our overwhelming victory at Tet (General Giap was actually preparing all his papers and personnel to surrender), into a crushing defeat. Or Dan Rather's reporting of W's military service. Or the heinous perfidy reported by Newsweek about the desecration of the Korans (and their laughable-if-it-wasn't-so-sleazy-apology). Never mind that 15 people were killed in rioting due to that lie. It's not Newsweek's fault at all, just ask them. The Wrong, and the MSM have elevated moral equivocation and getting their way with what is Right. They insist that the problem lies with Conservatives, who are incapable of seeing the grey areas and nuances inherent in the many issues at hand on the international stage. They refuse to accept any possibility that often there is no grey area - some things are just wrong, and no amount of equivocating or ignoring them will change that.

I guess I am no longer amazed that they don't accept responsibility for the consequences of their irresponsible reporting. Their persistent refusal to look beyond the here and now, indeed beyond their own skins, to see that what's going on is so very much bigger than internal politics and the coming election. What we are dealing with right now is nothing less than upholding and defending basic human rights, our way of life, against a group of people who, using their fundamentalist and self-serving interpretation of their religion, fight to subjugate the world (yes, the world - just read their screeds) to the whims of these self-styled "caliphs". And the multi-culti crowd, who has adopted muslims as their Victim Of The Moment, would have us think that this is because they are just misunderstood, and marginalized by the oppression of the Anglo-White, Western, Judeo-Christian, Crusader System. But let us step aside for a moment and take a look at this. I'll agree that they are misunderstood. But that's more to their benefit than their detriment (*see below). As to marginalized, well, not anywhere within reach of the MSM. The moment someone doesn't offer rapturous praise of islam, you'll find the muslim community, CAIR, any MSM and other hangers-on jumping to their feet screaming "Racism, racism! Discrimination!" And that 'someone' slinks off to the hisses and boos (and often the death threats - don't forget, this is the religion of peace) of the multitudes. I believe it is generally the mark of a failed or failing society that they have to work hard to keep the eyes of their people focused on the past - both on past failures and grievances (they did this and that to us), and to past glories (we deserve to have this and that again just as we used to have - whether that is true or not). Heaven forbid you let people see how awful things are now - with the kidnappings, shootings, torture, disappearances, and looting. No industry, no public works, no civic infrastructure, no actual schools, no hospitals worth speaking of, no safety. I'm still waiting for someone in the press to let the public in on the fact that the AQ and the insurgents are the biggest killers of Muslims right now (Sadaam Hussein holds the current record, but shhh, you can't say that out loud - it might make it look like Dubya had a reason). How many people are aware of the fact that one of the other victims in the blast that killed Zawahiri was his 14 year old wife? Yes, it's sad that his child bride died, but what kind of living hell was she spared? And yes, trading around 12-14 yr old daughters as wives to cement ties is a standard and well-accepted practice among AQ leadership (as well as the Taliban and the fundamentalists). And right now, about the only country in the world whose press has the balls to stand up to the threat of islam against the basic human rights our western society is based on is Denmark. Visit any of a host of excellent websites to see the Mohammed Cartoons, and please, support Denmark by buying Danish whenever possible!! The fact that there are so many observant Muslims in America who live exemplary lives, who follow the prescripts of their religion and the laws of this country, who raise their children to be good citizens makes the argument all the more powerful in favour of not currying favour with special interest groups. These people show that there is no necessary dichotomy between practising and living under islam in the Middle East and doing so in the US, except as enforced by the fundamentalists and terrorists for their own interests.

Enter the US military. We see our guys (and gals, of course) as the liberators and protectors of the Iraqi people, freeing them from the tyranny of the former regime and terrorists at large in Iraq. Yet from all over the world come cries that the US is really there to occupy and colonize Iraq, to steal its oil and line its pockets with oil money (*cough*cough* Kofi*cough**Annan*cough*cough**). Accusations like this used to enrage me, but as I've gotten older I've come to realize they say that because it's the only way they're capable of thinking, because that's what those other countries would do in our position. Heck, it's what the UN is doing pretty much everywhere they've been sent. (Pages of rant could go toward propagating the idea of dissolving the UN "Peacekeeping" Forces - maybe a rant for a later date). But we are not a colonizing country, despite the cries of past-it, also-ran countries whose colonial ambitions now lie in tatters and shreds. In this, as in all of our overseas campaigns, the constant refrain of the American GI is "We just want to get this job done so we can go home." Is this the rally of the colonizer? The oppressor? When I was stationed overseas, we used to supply orphanages and local children with school supplies, blankets, clothes, toys and food. Totally Awesome Mom last night reminded me of the floods of boxes of same sent from the US to Viet'Nam during that "police action". Himself takes great joy in handing out mechanical pencils and leads and drawing pads and teaching kids to draw cartoons and caricatures - kids from Kosovo, Afghanistan, Southeast and Southwest Asia (as well as other places too numerous and odd to mention) are out there cartooning - who knows what tomorrow's cartoon industry is going to look like? Together with the time and affection that GI lavish on the kids, this is one of the great legacies of the American GI. No one would be foolish enough to say that we are perfect; we have all the requisite number of idiots and bastards as the rest of humanity (well, maybe slightly fewer - we are America, after all!), but one of the things that sets us apart is that we really do want to help people become like us (not at the cost of their culture - so calm down Multi-Culti's!). We really don't understand why everyone can't just walk down the street, go to the store, buy a car, attend a decent (possibly non-religious) school, receive good medical treatment at a hospital, send their kids (especially daughters) to school, or any of the other myriad of rights and liberties we enjoy. Without getting shot doing it. Without fear of kidnapping and torture. And knowing that you will wake up tomorrow and it will still be true. So why is it that when a grateful Iraqi person tries to express him/herself to the media about the wonderful things brought to the country by US troops, those images never make it past the cutting room floor? Could it be because those images don't fit in with the dramatic cuts of insurgent "freedom fighters" and "sinister" US forces? Heaven forbid you try to sell ad space on a page with an article talking about how the US did something right. Or maybe that's part of the problem - the word "right" is no longer in their collective vocabulary, except in a pejorative way...

Saturday, June 24, 2006

With guns A Blazin'

I have, as is my habit, been hopping about the internet, checking out my favourite sites and getting the news of the day. Overlaid with other ongoing idiocies (ie. rampant islamism and anti-Americanism), well, I've got rant material for absolutely ages. Now I'll not pretend I'm one of the best out there (obviously not, or I wouldn't enjoy all my faves as much as I do!), although I know I'm probably better than some (or I wouldn't be here), but heck, since it's still America (for another two or so weeks - until the Lefties, NYT crowd and the Multi-Culti's get their way) by God, I shall rant.

That said, one of the things that has me annoyed lately is the gross ignorance the average American has about the islamic world, and about its current state. Now I realize, having been an Arabic linguist for several years, that I am in a slightly better position than the average Joe to appreciate the things that go on in re: islam, but honestly folks - the war's been going on for over 5 years now, and most of you still don't even know what islam really is. There are many good books out there (Bernard Lewis is an excellent author, and his books are very informative) that can give a good overview of islam, and muslims, and the increasing cultural gap between their society and ours. There are also maps, which would do most Americans a world of good to study, since most Americans can barely navigate around our own country, let alone other continents. It's good to know where these battles are being fought because often terrain can inform the purpose of a battle (well, along with a host of other factors, but you get the idea). And another thing is just to understand that plurality of mind is part of the Arab mind-set.

What I mean by this is as follows: The average Arab (and I use Arabs, they being considered the "keepers of the holy of holies", and therefore the seat of the faith) sees no contradiction in believing all of the following at the same time: 9/11 was a Mossad plot, and further that 3000 (or 5000 or more, take the number of your choice) were phoned the night before and told to stay home which they did, that the US did it to themselves as a pretext to creating a justification for attacking Iraq (never mind we attacked in Afghanistan), that Israel tells the US what to do, the US tells Israel what to do, that the Israel routinely carries out medical testing on Palestinians, that Israel is about to topple to the Palestinian/Hammas government, that the US is the only country that can/will save them, that the US is the Great Satan, and the list just goes on. And most stupefyingly, these views are voiced by some of the most rational, decent-seeming and lucid people. People who are often hosting you to a meal, who are sitting next to you at a dinner party or a cafe, and who will hold your hand and breathe on your face (both gestures of affection, respect and trust). And they will offer and accept invitations, receive and exchange gifts with you, introduce you to business associates and family members (often the same people). And they may be the face you see in the middle of an anti-American protest the next time you look.

In the mosques and madrassas, it just gets more complicated. These places are virtual petri dishes for the incubation of extremism and terrorism. The mullahs and imams who lead the men in prayers and deliver sermons generally deliver something far more dangerous and insidious - hatred and bigotry, intolerance, grievance, and militancy. From birth, young muslims are inculcated in the former injustices and grievances suffered by the muslim empire, interspersed with tales of their great glories - with the emphasis always on the past (to distract people from miseries of today). The world is presented as a Zero Sum affair, wherein the successes of others is represented as a lessening of the opportunities for those that remain. The biggest, baddest, most proscribed subject in islam is sex. Indeed, this subject could well be said to be the ruling influence behind all of the rules of the religion not dealing directly with the worship of Allah. For all the sneers directed toward the US as being puritanical and hypocritical with regard to sex, islam is absolutely terrified of it. Where else do you see a religion where the repression of the woman and most specifically of any and every aspect of her sexuality is one of the key concepts? Dr. Sanity (as usual) addresses this issue in one of her many, excellent essays on the subject (http://drsanity.blogspot.com). But here you have a religion of men terrified of the mere idea of woman qua woman. Woman is not allowed to be seen (neither herself, nor the parts of her body - ie. ears, neck, wrists, hands, ankles, mouth, etc.) for fear of exciting lustful thoughts. Woman is not allowed to be alone with a non-family male for fear of exciting libidinous impulses. Woman cannot have any relations with any male outside of the family, lest her actions bring shame on the family honour. Even a violent sexual assault committed upon the woman desecrate the family honour because of her association with said assault. Woman must not go to school or learn, and must not be more intelligent than her husband, lest this cause him embarrassment or shame. She must remain hidden away from prying eyes, doing only what he bids her to do, raising his children as he bids her - in effect submitting to him as his slave, as he claims to submit to Allah. And when her sons are old enough, they are sent to the madrassa to learn to hate, just as their fathers do. And when her daughters reach puberty, they will be given as wives to cement ties among her father's friends and associates.

In the madrassas, boys are taught to hate. These lessons are intermixed with the teachings and lessons of the Qur'an, and they become inseparable. The boys learn that Israel has stolen the land from the Palestinians and defrauded them from their birthright. That the crusaders stole muslim lands and turned them Christian. That the US is either the supporter and leader, or the puppet and lapdog of the Zionist State, and thereby responsible for the enduring shame of the Arab people. The US once occupied the sacred land of the Holy of Holies, the sacred cities of Mecca and Medina. That Western Civilization is trying to steal their god, and their manhood and their culture, with their insidious and evil mix of sex, drugs, alcohol and the plush western lifestyle. That the West is responsible for the fact that they now live in a suckhole, with little or no running water, no public works (ie. sanitation, sewage and the like), no food (especially if you back the wrong warlord), if you barely have a sheet of cardboard over your head, let alone a sheet of corrugated aluminium. They have conspired to hold you down - to suppress the glories that once were islam: the learning, the riches, the glory. Then, as these young men grow older, their communities strive to send them abroad for a quality education (abroad, because a quality education is rarely, if ever, available in a muslim country), which will cause them frustration and bewilderment upon their return, because their country will have no resources or infrastructure in place to employ them upon their return. And all this energy, and frustration, and anger has to go somewhere. And that's where your 9/11 hijackers come in, and your suicide bombers, and your shoe bomber and your other plotters and schemers caught and as yet uncaught. They are easy pickings for the Imams of Malice; open minds, fertile and ready to receive the bile and hatred that will be poured into them.

Mind you, this represents the extremist, fundamentalist form of Islam - the one being practised by the Taliban, the AQ, the wahhabists and the like. But in light of the overwhelming silence we hear from the rest of the muslim world, we may be forced to consider that these voices speak for the majority, and that this is the more accurate form of islam. We need to wake up and start looking around us and paying attention to what the Arab world is doing, and not just within its own boundaries, but in its communities around the world. We need to pay attention to what goes on when the Arab/muslim community gets upset at different issues - which issues are they, and why? And we need to speak out, and speak our minds, and exercise our right to free speech and not be cowed by the threats of pro-muslim lobby groups or anti-American political groups. The terrorists and extremists have already proved their long arms and dedication to the murders and never-ending misery of those who oppose them, and we maintain our ignorance at our own peril.

A Virgin Website

Greetings all! I am finally turning my hand to creating a web page (yes, any professionals out there will no doubt laugh that this could hold any significance anymore, but it does for me). I am still working out the bugs (in me, not the system). Despite having worked in/with the Military Industrial Complex (sounds so delightfully sinister, doesn't it?) for well over half my life, every position I've ever held has already been computer-ready and well set up long before I ever arrived - all I've ever had to do was learn how to manipulate the system.

That being said, I am welcoming a chance to really assume a place online to exchange views and ideas about current events, both political and sociological (as well as trading the odd views on books and movies, music and recipes, and anything else that may come up). While I tend strongly toward the conservative (ie. minimal government involvement in our personal lives, and so on), I am always willing to entertain views and ideas from all points along the spectrum; it makes for lively debate, or occasionally some wickedly funny entertainment!
Stay tuned for more to come...